Assessing Readiness for Couple Therapy: The Stages of Relationship Change Questionnaire


Kay Bradford, PhD, Family, Consumer, & Human Development, Utah State University. At the time of the study, Dr. Bradford was at the University of Kentucky. This study was supported by a grant through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services through a Section 1115 waiver awarded to the commonwealth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Region IV. The author expresses thanks to the community partners, participants, and research assistants for their work and involvement; to W. Joel Schneider, PhD, Illinois State University, for his foundational work and consultation; and to Thorana Nelson, PhD, Utah State University, for her feedback on a previous version. Address correspondence to Kay Bradford, Utah State University, 2705 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah 84322; E-mail:


Client readiness for change is garnering increased interest both conceptually and methodologically. This article describes the reliability, validity, and utility of a measure of readiness for couple relationship change, Schneider’s (2003) Stages of Relationship Change Questionnaire (SRCQ). Based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change, the instrument measures change along nine domains of marital functioning. Results indicate that this one-factor instrument may reliably measure readiness for change and discriminate between various stages of change. Most in this sample (n = 406) were in early stages of change, with men more often in the stage of precontemplation and women more often in contemplation. The SRCQ can be completed and scored in under 10 min. Clinical use and research implications are discussed.